PubMed 22476614

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Nav1.6

Title: Coupled left-shift of Nav channels: modeling the Na(+)-loading and dysfunctional excitability of damaged axons.

Authors: Pierre-Alexandre Boucher, Béla Joós, Catherine E Morris

Journal, date & volume: , 2012 Apr 5 , ,

PubMed link:

Injury to neural tissue renders voltage-gated Na⁺ (Nav) channels leaky. Even mild axonal trauma initiates Na⁺-loading, leading to secondary Ca²⁺-loading and white matter degeneration. The nodal isoform is Nav1.6 and for Nav1.6-expressing HEK-cells, traumatic whole cell stretch causes an immediate tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na⁺-leak. In stretch-damaged oocyte patches, Nav1.6 current undergoes damage-intensity dependent hyperpolarizing- (left-) shifts, but whether left-shift underlies injured-axon Nav-leak is uncertain. Nav1.6 inactivation (availability) is kinetically limited by (coupled to) Nav activation, yielding coupled left-shift (CLS) of the two processes: CLS should move the steady-state Nav1.6 "window conductance" closer to typical firing thresholds. Here we simulated excitability and ion homeostasis in free-running nodes of Ranvier to assess if hallmark injured-axon behaviors--Na⁺-loading, ectopic excitation, propagation block--would occur with Nav-CLS. Intact/traumatized axolemma ratios were varied, and for some simulations Na/K pumps were included, with varied in/outside volumes. We simulated saltatory propagation with one mid-axon node variously traumatized. While dissipating the [Na⁺] gradient and hyperactivating the Na/K pump, Nav-CLS generated neuropathic pain-like ectopic bursts. Depending on CLS magnitude, fraction of Nav channels affected, and pump intensity, tonic or burst firing or nodal inexcitability occurred, with [Na⁺] and [K⁺] fluctuating. Severe CLS-induced inexcitability did not preclude Na⁺-loading; in fact, the steady-state Na⁺-leaks elicited large pump currents. At a mid-axon node, mild CLS perturbed normal anterograde propagation, and severe CLS blocked saltatory propagation. These results suggest that in damaged excitable cells, Nav-CLS could initiate cellular deterioration with attendant hyper- or hypo-excitability. Healthy-cell versions of Nav-CLS, however, could contribute to physiological rhythmic firing.